An absolutely ridiculous amount of my time this semester has been eaten up by administration. In this post I'll talk about two tasks, one small and annoying, the other large and on-going.

I have spent at least 15 hours this semester struggling with … cover sheets. Yes, as part of my new job as “Director of Faculty Development” I am responsible for 'encouraging' the colleagues to be more visibly productive by posting their work product online, especially at SSRN. SSRN encourages you to have standardized cover sheets if you're going to have lots of papers online. Our IT people were unable to produce decent ones, so in the end I had to do it. But although mine were not as bad as theirs, they weren't perfect either, and every so often I have to go fix some glitch they cause on documents created with some new wordprocessing wrinkle. Maddening.

The second task is much more serious. In what must count as a significant working out of my karmic debts, I was sentenced to the law school's Strategic Planning committee. For various complex and political reasons, not least our desire to issue a report before we get too far into the ongoing Dean search, we're trying to do a plan in about half the time one should. So we meet a lot. In fact, we meet three or four times a week, for hours at a go.

We will soon send a draft of our work to the faculty, which will no doubt provide feedback with gusto. Once we recover, we have to redraft and try to provide a final text the faculty will like. All by early December.

I don't know exactly at what point our new plan, whatever it turns out to be, will become public, but I look forward to discussing its substance here once I am free to do so.

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5 Responses to Work

  1. Troll says:

    Strategic Planning Goals:

    1. Get publicity for something other than students looking like fools on tv.
    2. Recruit faculty who don’t get arrested.

  2. Michael says:

    Oh, I think we can set our sights a little higher.

  3. LACJ says:

    So very helpful! It just warms your heart, doesn’t it? The compassion, the sense of mutual respect, the cooperation. *Sniff*

  4. Peter D. Lederer says:

    Michael, you may be making too casual an assumption in thinking that mere work on a strategic plan suffices to work off significant amounts of your karmic debts. My own guess would have been that cover sheet design goes further to teach humility and thus deserves a good deal of karmic credit.

    Stimulated by your discussion, I did some quick research. I learn, and pass on to you, that “having a chart reading done is the surest way to find out if you have a Karmic debt, what kind it is and how to overcome it in this lifetime.” Go for it!

  5. Merced says:

    ….ahhh, you’ve painfully discovered you really work within a stifling bureaucracy — the classic form of inefficient administration.

    Is the paycheck adequate compensation for such permanent annoyance ?

    Mindless bureaucratic emphasis on ‘cover-sheets’ is a central joke in the cult-classic movie comedy “Office Space” {1999}

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